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SCOTTISH CHAMBERS CALL FOR CONFIRMATION OF FORTH CROSSING
[ 16-09-2009 ]
Scottish Chambers of Commerce today called for the earliest possible confirmation of the Forth Crossing.
Chief Executive, Liz Cameron said: "The remarks by City of Edinburgh Council calling for the postponement of this vital work once again miss the point and once again undermine business confidence. It is clear to all that the cables on the existing Road Bridge are not becoming less corroded. The underlying issue, that the Bridge is carrying twice its design capacity every working day of the year is not going away. Losing this major part of our transport infrastructure through early closure would have catastrophic effects on our national economy and particularly for those of our people who are dependent on the link for travel to work, accessing services and leisure as well as the vitally important freight route.
"The Transport Scotland announcements about "contingent liability" come at just the wrong time in terms of public confidence in a scheme for which there are already doubts about funding mechanisms. Whilst we do not suspect any deliberate attempt by Transport Scotland to do other than point out legal constraints to a Parliamentary committee it might be better to ask ourselves what will be the true cost of failing to build this new bridge in time?
"Without this link our calculations show an additional cost of £850m per annum from diversion of traffic and consequent congestion, with a significant depression in property values, primarily in Fife running to hundreds of millions of pounds. We have taken long enough to come up with the remedy. Now is the time to get on with construction, business can’t wait!"
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